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Legal move to get money returned to ratepayers, over failed South Carolina nuclear power project

Attorneys for SCE&G customers ask for all money collected since nuclear cancellation, By Andrew Brown, Aug 15, 2018 Updated 3 hrs ago

·         COLUMBIA — Attorneys suing South Carolina Electric & Gas say the power company should have to refund everything it collected for its failed nuclear project over the past year — some $452 million in all.

·         In a motion filed Wednesday, lawyers representing SCE&G ratepayers say the utility should have dropped its nuclear financing charges from electric rates as soon as it told construction workers at the V.C. Summer power plant to leave the site.

·         They say state law only allows SCE&G to charge people for the nuclear project while it is under construction or if it’s fully built — something the company gave up after it abandoned the $9 billion investment on July 31, 2017.

·         The nuclear project was dropped after nine years of work on the power plants. SCE&G’s customers paid more than $1.8 billion to finance the endeavor.  The troubled utility company is now facing a wave of legal challenges due to the unfinished reactors —now considered the biggest economic failure in state history.

·         The new motion threatens to pile another massive liability onto SCE&G’s books.

·         State lawmakers already forced the power company earlier this month to temporarily slash its nuclear charges, a move that reduced its customers’ bills by 15 percent and will cost the company roughly $270 million by the end of this year.

·        Those customers will also receive a rebate for the power they purchased between April and July.

·         The attorneys opposing SCE&G want to go even further, however. They’re effectively asking a state judge to order SCE&G to repay the entire $37 million per month the utility collected since August of last year. If the judge rules in their favor, part of that money could go to SCE&G electric customers who join the proposed class action lawsuits. ……….

August 17, 2018 - Posted by | Legal, USA

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